Predictors of Change in Physical Function in Older Adults in Response to Long-Term, Structured Physical Activity: The LIFE Study

Andrew S. Layne, Fang Chi Hsu, Steven N. Blair, Shyh Huei Chen, Jennifer Dungan, Roger A. Fielding, Nancy W. Glynn, Alexandra M. Hajduk, Abby C. King, Todd M. Manini, Anthony P. Marsh, Marco Pahor, Christine A. Pellegrini, Thomas W. Buford, Marco Pahor, Jack M. Guralnik, Christiaan Leeuwenburgh, Connie Caudle, Lauren Crump, Latonia HolmesJocelyn Lee, Ching ju Lu, Michael E. Miller, Mark A. Espeland, Walter T. Ambrosius, William Applegate, Daniel P. Beavers, Robert P. Byington, Delilah Cook, Curt D. Furberg, Lea N. Harvin, Leora Henkin, John Hepler, Fang Chi Hsu, Laura Lovato, Wesley Roberson, Julia Rushing, Scott Rushing, Cynthia L. Stowe, Michael P. Walkup, Don Hire, W. Jack Rejeski, Jeffrey A. Katula, Peter H. Brubaker, Shannon L. Mihalko, Janine M. Jennings, Evan C. Hadley, Sergei Romashkan, Kushang V. Patel, Denise Bonds, Mary M. McDermott, Bonnie Spring, Joshua Hauser, Diana Kerwin, Kathryn Domanchuk, Rex Graff, Alvito Rego, Timothy S. Church, Steven N. Blair, Valerie H. Myers, Ron Monce, Nathan E. Britt, Melissa Nauta Harris, Ami Parks McGucken, Ruben Rodarte, Heidi K. Millet, Catrine Tudor-Locke, Ben P. Butitta, Sheletta G. Donatto, Shannon H. Cocreham, Abby C. King, Cynthia M. Castro, William L. Haskell, Randall S. Stafford, Leslie A. Pruitt, Kathy Berra, Veronica Yank, Roger A. Fielding, Miriam E. Nelson, Sara C. Folta, Edward M. Phillips, Christine K. Liu, Erica C. McDavitt, Kieran F. Reid, Won S. Kim, Vince E. Beard, Todd M. Manini, Marco Pahor, Stephen D. Anton, Susan Nayfield, Thomas W. Buford, Michael Marsiske, Bhanuprasad D. Sandesara, Jeffrey D. Knaggs, Megan S. Lorow, William C. Marena, Irina Korytov, Holly L. Morris, Margo Fitch, Floris F. Singletary, Jackie Causer, Katie A. Radcliff, Anne B. Newman, Stephanie A. Studenski, Bret H. Goodpaster, Nancy W. Glynn, Oscar Lopez, Neelesh K. Nadkarni, Kathy Williams, Mark A. Newman, George Grove, Janet T. Bonk, Jennifer Rush, Piera Kost, Diane G. Ives, Stephen B. Kritchevsky, Anthony P. Marsh, Tina E. Brinkley, Jamehl S. Demons, Kaycee M. Sink, Kimberly Kennedy, Rachel Shertzer-Skinner, Abbie Wrights, Rose Fries, Deborah Barr, Thomas M. Gill, Robert S. Axtell, Susan S. Kashaf, Nathalie de Rekeneire, Joanne M. McGloin, Karen C. Wu, Denise M. Shepard, Barbara Fennelly, Lynne P. Iannone, Raeleen Mautner, Theresa Sweeney Barnett, Sean N. Halpin, Matthew J. Brennan, Julie A. Bugaj, Maria A. Zenoni, Bridget M. Mignosa, Jeff Williamson, Kaycee M. Sink, Hugh C. Hendrie, Stephen R. Rapp, Joe Verghese, Nancy Woolard, Mark Espeland, Janine Jennings, Carl J. Pepine, Mario Ariet, Eileen Handberg, Daniel Deluca, James Hill, Anita Szady, Geoffrey L. Chupp, Gail M. Flynn, Thomas M. Gill, John L. Hankinson, Carlos A. Vaz Fragoso, Erik J. Groessl, Robert M. Kaplan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Objectives To evaluate the extent of variability in functional responses in participants in the Lifestyle Interventions and Independence for Elders (LIFE) study and to identify the relative contributions of intervention adherence, physical activity, and demographic and health characteristics to this variability. Design Secondary analysis. Setting Multicenter institutions. Participants A volunteer sample (N=1635) of sedentary men and women aged 70 to 89 years who were able to walk 400m but had physical limitations, defined as a Short Physical Performance Battery (SPPB) score of ≤9. Interventions Moderate-intensity physical activity (n=818) consisting of aerobic, resistance, and flexibility exercises performed both center-based (2times/wk) and home-based (3–4times/wk) sessions or health education program (n=817) consisting of weekly to monthly workshops covering relevant health information. Main Outcome Measures Physical function (gait speed over 400m) and lower extremity function (SPPB score) assessed at baseline and 6, 12, and 24 months. Results Greater baseline physical function (gait speed, SPPB score) was negatively associated with change in gait speed (regression coefficient β=−.185; P<.001) and change in SPPB score (β=−.365; P<.001), whereas higher number of steps per day measured by accelerometry was positively associated with change in gait speed (β=.035; P<.001) and change in SPPB score (β=.525; P<.001). Other baseline factors associated with positive change in gait speed and/or SPPB score include younger age (P<.001), lower body mass index (P<.001), and higher self-reported physical activity (P=.002). Conclusions Several demographic and physical activity–related factors were associated with the extent of change in functional outcomes in participants in the LIFE study. These factors should be considered when designing interventions for improving physical function in older adults with limited mobility.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)11-24.e3
JournalArchives of physical medicine and rehabilitation
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017


  • Aging
  • Exercise
  • Individuality
  • Rehabilitation
  • Resistance training
  • Walking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rehabilitation
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation


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